It’s a great barstool or blog comment debate: “Who is the fastest point guard in the NBA?”
Derrick Rose? John Wall? Russell Westbrook? Kyrie Irving?
Nope, try Tony Parker.
Advanced stats are trying to answer all our debates — who is the best guy to trust with a game-winning shot? — and one of them is who is the fastest guard. Over at Sports Illustrated Zach Lowe spoke with the guys from STATS LLC — the company that in 10 NBA arenas has put in new state-of-the-art camera system that can track exactly where players are at any moment on the court. There is a wealth of interesting information available — how good does your favorite spot-up three-point shooter do when a guy is within two feet of him? Read the post, it’s fascinating stuff.
But that high-technology can be used for fun stuff, too.
Want to know the answer to the age-old debate over who the fastest point guard in the league really is? Well, STATS can’t answer that definitely yet, since only 10 of the league’s 30 arenas have the cameras installed. But those 10 arenas feature some pretty quick point guards — Tony Parker, Russell Westbrook, Rajon Rondo, Kyle Lowry, Ricky Rubio, Brandon Jennings and the quicker-than-you-think Jose Calderon.
But none can touch Parker in an open sprint, at least not so far this season. Parker has reached a high speed of 20.9 miles per hour in one stretch of in-game sprinting, easily the highest speed any of these guys have registered. Rubio is next, at 19.4 miles per hour, and the rest of the crew falls into the 17 range. Chicago has not invested in the STATS system, so we only have a few games worth of data on Derrick Rose; he reached a peak speed of 17.0 miles in San Antonio last month.
Rose and Wall would be interesting, but if you watch Parker play he is fast. He has won the skills competition. He gets overlooked, but he might be as quick as anyone.